Art Is Not Blind
Organized by: H. Sitki Gulergun
I am a fine artist and I want to share my inspiration for creating ART FOR THE BLIND. When a dear friend lost his eyesight at the age of 28, due to complications of diabetes, I was overwhelmed with sadness. How could a young, active man who was dancing at my wedding now be completely blind and dependent on others?
I was so shaken by his situation and did not know how I could be supportive. In time, he moved into his condo by himself and started learning how to live and educate himself with this disability.
That is the time I started experimenting with linear paintings inspired by Matisse & Picasso. By squeezing tubes of bright & vibrant thick paint, I used a raised technique to paint a "still life" for him. As I painted, I kept visualizing him touching this painting and feeling my creation. My purpose was simply to connect my heartfelt creation to share with him. My friend has my painting on his wall and tells me often how much he appreciates this unique and special piece and how much it truly means to him. He said " just because I am blind does not mean that I don't want nice furnishings and art in my home". He has explained to me how difficult it is for the visually impaired to go to museums and touch art. He said "we can touch sculptures but must wear paper gloves and the sensation is lost". "I am touching paper not art itself". I then asked myself, why does a visually impaired person want to visit museums? The reasons are various but basically they want to visit for the same reasons as people with vision. They want to be in the presence of great art. Art gives them an opportunity to express their feelings, dreams, tell stories and expand their own imaginations. He asked me to paint for others that are visually impaired, he wanted them to have the same art experience as he does with my painting. He inspired me SO much that day, I started painting raised images on my canvases immediately!
My goals are vast. I have had several "ART IS NOT BLIND" exhibits in NY. The emotional effect my art has had on visually impaired adults, children and especially the parents of these children has been overwhelming. I want to do so much more but due to limited finances, I am not able.
I have been invited to go to Obernai, France this May to be a part of a charity event by Apero, for the visually impaired . The goal is to raise money for an association called Mira, which provides guide dogs to blind youth. I am also donating a few paintings to be auctioned to raise money for this cause.
I am reaching out to CROWDRISE to assist financially with my travel, art supplies such as framing, canvases, hand designed raised T-shirts and other expenses for this trip. I am also planning future exhibits here in the states and hopefully in London & Istanbul. These funds would help for the gallery space, advertising, invitations, and a future goal is to have audio go in unison with the exhibits.
One of my most passionate goals is to create "touch appreciation" galleries in museums for the visually impaired. This would be gallery space in museums for the visually impaired to enjoy the love of art.